Friday, October 5, 2012

Blog Tour: Ten Things You Didn't Know About Ilsa J. Bick

Today I am extremely excited to welcome Ilsa J. Bick to Hope, Faith & Books as part of her blog tour! Now as everyone should be aware of by now, I absolutely loved her books Ashes and its sequel Shadows! So I am so happy to have her on the blog today!

So without further ado, let welcome Ilsa and the fantastic Top Ten List she prepared for today!

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Me:

1.      I am, actually, excruciatingly shy and a bit of a homebody, although I adore the outdoors and will happily hike all day, so long as I don’t see another soul.  That wallflower?  C’est moi.  The only reason people think I’m outgoing is because I’ve practiced, for years.  Part of that’s being a shrink; you learn how to be with other people, ask questions, keep folks talking so you don’t have to J.  But getting me to go to a party . . . I’ll take the bamboo under the nails instead.  Giving a party is different; you control the flow, although I’m almost always in the kitchen, “preparing,” but we all know that’s simply a synonym for “hiding.”

2.      In contrast to other authors who say they write about what scares them, very little truly frightens me.  Yes, I really don’t want to be held up at gunpoint and I could do without a zombie attack, but I’m just not all that frightened of stuff because, well, you know . . . if you spend your time being scared, it’s like that your time will also be quite short.  Now, I have some obsessions in terms of how I really wouldn’t want to make an exit—drowning’s right up there—and I tend to put my poor characters in those life and death situations, but I like to think that I’m trying to work through things.  I guess there comes a point where, sure, you can be scared, but if you don’t do something, you’re dead.

3.      In line with that, I don’t really enjoy horror movies.  I won’t go out of my way to see them because I think that too many people equate a ton of gore with what’s scary.  What’s MUCH more intriguing/frightening/scarilicious are the things you only imagine and don’t see.  The first BLAIR WITCH was super because it exploited the unseen.  ALIEN, for example, is another superb example: it’s a haunted house-HALLOWEEN film set on a ship in outer space.  Most of these slasher guts, chop people up stuff?  Meh.  Yeah, it’s horrific, but, for me, they’re neither entertaining nor anything I’d pay good money for.

4.      I used to study and write about film.  Betcha you haven’t guessed.  That’s because I am easily bored and really interested in a lot of things; there’s a ton to cram in before you exit this life.  So while I was a shrink resident, I went to school at night and got a degree in film and lit.  Then I could watch great movies and try to figure out why I felt about them the way I did.  How did they work, what made me cry, all that. (So, yeah, I was studying narrative structure.)  I think that all goes back to—

5.      I was in love with Captain Kirk.  Honestly and truly.  Before he became Jabba the Hut, Kirk was one great piece of beefcake.  Yes, we’re talking MANY years ago, and there wasn’t all that much to choose from and, no, Spock never floated my boat and, yes, I was by and large, faithful unless you count that dalliance with Scotty and the little fling with McCoy.  But Kirk was the first real, testosterone-laden guy-guy, in a setting that really appealed to my wacky, inner geek, who lost his shirt more times than I can count in that first season.  There is, in fact, a website devoted to screen shots of Kirk without his shirt:  No, those aren’t my smudge marks on the screen.  Yes, if I’d been born fifteen years later, we’d be talking about Taylor Lautner and, no, I will not tell you the name of the actor who can eat crackers in my bed any day.  (The fact that he wouldn’t be caught dead looking at me . . . we’ll just glide over that.)  IMHO, there is NOTHING sexier than a guy with a fabulous chest.

6.      When I’m not writing, I feel terrible.  Sure, yeah, I can still go out to dinner or hike or whatever . . . but there’s this empty quality I hate.  Fill me up with a great story, let me go somewhere else in my head and stay there, fretting over these people, and I’m a happy woman.  So I rarely take off a ton of time between books.  Just too uncomfortable.

7.      Despite my infatuation with Kirk, I don’t watch much television.  No time.  There are a couple shows I like, but even they take a backseat to the work.  

8.      I don’t listen to music when I work.  I don’t have a playlist that I use for inspiration.  In fact, I don’t listen to music anymore at all.  I used to, and I still sing in a symphony chorus.  [Soprano: oh, wait, was that supposed to be #9?]  But I find music to be very distracting.  To listen well and really understand what the composer’s doing takes a ton of concentration.  Despite what you think or want to believe, no, you are not truly multi-tasking.  Any number of studies will tell you: all you’re doing are many things, not very well.

9.      I would like to trade up for Stephen King’s problems.  I’m sorry; let me rephrase: I would like to be Stephen King.  Of course, this might make for some interesting times with Captain Kirk, but it’s a large and tolerant universe.

10.  And, on a very serious note: I used to be in the Air Force, although most anyone who’s read my stuff knows that I was in the military.  There are many days when I wish I still served.  I couldn’t continue, for a whole host of reasons, and most have my children’s faces.  But I often wish I could do something—anything—to help a soldier who’s doing a job that keeps me and mine safe.

About Ilsa J. Bick (taken from Goodreads):
 Among other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I'm supposed to write things like, "Ilsa J. Bick is ." Except I hate writing about myself in the third person like I'm not in the room. Helloooo, I'm right here . . . So let's just say that I'm a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right)as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe (meaning I did an internship in surgery and LOVED it and maybe shoulda stuck), former Air Force major—and an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories, e-books, and novels. Believe me, no one is more shocked about this than I . . . unless you talk to my mother.


If you need a refresher of Ashes before you read Shadows go check out Ilsa's recap on her site!

Also, if you'd like to read my reviews of Ashes & Shadows too see how much I enjoyed them then just click on the title of each book and it'll take you to my review! :)

Thank you so much Ilsa for taking the time to do this top ten with me! I had a blast! And you are such a talented writer! 


  1. Awesome list about Ilsa. I agree hugely with #3. Mess-with-your-head scary is so much creepier than blood-and-guts horror.


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